USF sophomore cornerback Quenton Washington remembers the days when he and West Virginia running back Noel Devine, were a two-man wrecking crew in the Florida high school ranks.
Teammates at North Fort Myers High School, Washington and Devine, who was one of the top running backs in Florida, led their team to an 11-2 record in 2006.
Washington and Devine have been friends nearly their entire lives, and on Friday, they’ll meet again on the field when the Bulls host the No. 20 Mountaineers at
Raymond James Stadium. Washington said both exchanged text messages Sunday night.
“His first message to me was ‘you better be ready,'” Washington said. “We got a friendly little competition going to see who gets the best of each other.”
Washington will be the first to admit that the USF defense will have their hands full trying to limit Devine, who ranks seventh in the nation in rushing yards and fifth in rushing touchdowns.
“He’s a gifted athlete,” Washington said. “Watching him, sometimes I just don’t know how he does some of the stuff.”
During a high school game, Devine rushed for 365 yards and six touchdowns on just nine carries. Washington said the key to containing him is wrapping up on first contact.
Last week, the Bulls were up against Pittsburgh’s Dion Lewis, who rolled for 111 rushing yards. Lewis is first
in the Big East with 1,029 yards this season. Devine is second with 912 yards.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” said USF coach Jim Leavitt. “Dion is one of the best in the country and Noel is one of the best in the country. They’re both great backs, can make you miss, and go the distance in a hurry.”